Interviews, Special Events, The Features

Vincent Musi and Exotic Pets, By Way of National Geographic

Vincent J. Musi, courtesy National Geographic

Vincent J. Musi, courtesy National Geographic

Tomorrow night, veteran photographer Vincent J. Musi will take the stage at the National Geographic Museum. He’ll be discussing his latest story in the April 2014 magazine, “Exotic Pets,” where he explored the deep connections some people have with creatures not found in the corner pet store. He’ll be sharing images and stories from this assignment and other forays into the world of animals.

We’ll be giving away a pair of tickets to the show, so leave a comment below, using your first name and a valid email address; we’ll draw the winner before noon tomorrow. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. and parking is free at the museum’s garage after 6 p.m. for those attending the program.

Musi took a moment to answer some of our questions about his work and the project.

How did you approach the Exotic Pets project?

My goal was to offer a voice to people who had experience with exotic animals in a straightforward and non-judgmental way. These are folks who tend to get marginalized in what can be very sensational coverage by the press. I was looking for diversity in experience, animals, and opinions. Anyone who had a direct relationship with an exotic animal.

What was the most unusual pairing or situation you came across?

A breeder of jungle cat hybrids in Florida had a huge Tortoise, Canada Goose and a Pot Bellied Pig as her personal pets. Nothing can prepare you for the site of a Mountain Lion lounging pool-side at a brick ranch house or a white-tailed deer with her own bedroom.

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Get Out & About, Interviews, People, Special Events, The Features

Speeding Through the Appalachians With Jennifer Pharr Davis

Every year, hundreds of hikers attempt to traverse the 2,181 miles of the Appalachian Trail that stretches from Georgia to Maine. The typical journey takes at least four months. In 2011, long-distance hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis accomplished it in a little over 46 days. She became the trail’s overall speed record holder and the first woman to do so.

Thursday evening, Davis visits the National Geographic Museum to share her story about this incredible achievement. National Geographic is giving away a pair of tickets to a lucky WeLoveDC reader for the event. (See the end of the article for instructions on how to enter.) Davis sat down with WeLoveDC to talk about her accomplishment and time on the trail.

What inspired you to attempt the fastest hike of the Trail?

I had hiked the trail twice before, once in 2005 as a traditional thru-hike taking 4 months, and again in 2008 where I tried to set a new women’s record. I did that, hiking the trail in 58 days and averaging 38 miles per day. But coming off Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia where I finished my hike, I knew instantly that I had a lot left in the tank and that I hadn’t pushed myself to the max. So I immediately starting contemplating the possibility of doing it faster and of possibly trying to break the overall record of 47 days.

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Education, Interviews, People, Special Events, The Features

Meet Travelers Who Make a Difference

Every year, National Geographic celebrates individuals who travel the globe with passion and purpose. These travelers represent a style of travel, motivation, or method that informs and inspires us. Last year, more than 1,500 nominations were sent in to National Geographic Traveler for their annual Travelers of the Year award. The magazine staff selected those who turned trips into opportunities to assist with conservation efforts, connect with local cultures, volunteer, challenge themselves, deepen familial and community bonds, and engage the world in a meaningful way.

This Thursday, National Geographic will host a discussion with seven of their 2013 winners. And WeLoveDC wants to send one of our readers to this insightful program with a pair of tickets to the program and reception!

Panelists at the evening program will be Hilda and John Denham, who established the Pacuare Nature Reserve in Costa Rica to protect turtle nesting areas; Alison Wright, a photojournalist who launched the Faces of Hope Fund to provide medical assistance, education, and aid to children around the globe; Shannon O’Donnell, who began Grassroots Volunteering, a database of volunteering and sustainable tourism opportunities; Molly Burke and Muyambi Muyambi, founders of Bicycles Against Poverty in Uganda; and Tracey Friley, a youth travel advocate who began the Passport Party Project for helping underserved girls get their first passports.

These travelers went a step beyond a simple vacation and strive to make a difference through their journey. Often, it is an experience, sight, or object that inspires their change of direction. “I traveled several times to Costa Rica during the eighties to see the turtles and went to many beaches on both Pacific and Caribbean coasts,” said Hilda Denham. “I was fascinated by what I saw but was shocked by the poaching that was going on everywhere. Legislation came too late, and has always been ineffective.”

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Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

October 2013 at National Geographic

As the Society continues its celebration, Nat Geo Live’s offerings reflect the Society’s history of connecting audiences to people and places that inspire us to care about the planet. To that end, the Museum continues our monthly drawings for a two readers to win a pair of tickets each to a program of their choice in October. To enter, just comment below with what two programs you’d most like to see; make sure you use your first name and a valid email address. On Thursday, October 3, we’ll randomly draw two names from the comment list.

Here is what’s being offered this month.

Wildest Africa ($24)
10/15, 7:30 pm
Leading wildlife photojournalist Michael “Nick” Nichols reports on the struggle to preserve Africa’s wild animals. Nichols, National Geographic’s Editor-at-Large for photography, has been working with African elephants for more than 20 years. He also talks about his coverage of the Serengeti lions from the August 2013 National Geographic, which took him two years to document. Nichols shares new video, audio, anecdotes and photographs captured with cutting-edge technology.

Beyond the Yellow Border Tour ($40)
10/16, 7 pm
Mark Collins Jenkins, former National Geographic Society archivist/historian and author of National Geographic 125 Years, takes an in-depth look at the history of the Society in the Museum’s exhibition, “A New Age of Exploration.” Cocktails and light fare are included.

A Passion for Photography ($30)
10/17, 7 pm
Meet seven extraordinary photographers whose work has influenced global change, as showcased in the October 2013 special issue of National Geographic magazine. The evening features David Guttenfelder with a look at North Korea’s closed society; portrait artist Martin Schoeller with a photo essay on how our growing diversity is changing the face of America; photojournalist Marcus Bleasdale with a report on conflict minerals; wildlife photographer Joel Sartore with a look at zoos’ role in the fight against extinction; camera obscura photographer Abelardo Morell melting boundaries between landscape and dreamscape; photojournalist James Estrin on the future of photography; and James Balog, whose Extreme Ice Survey is documenting the global loss of glacial ice.

Curating Women of Vision Tour ($35)
10/29, 7 pm
How does Senior Photo Editor Elizabeth Krist choose from among thousands of National Geographic photos to create an exhibition showcasing the work of 11 groundbreaking female photographers? Learn about the work that goes into curating the new “Women of Vision” exhibition debuting in the National Geographic Museum’s 17th Street Gallery on Oct. 10. Cocktails and light fare are included.

All events take place at National Geographic’s Washington DC headquarters. Tickets may be purchased online, via telephone at (202) 857-7700 or in person at the National Geographic ticket office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets must be purchased by Sept. 20 to ensure guaranteed Early Bird Pricing. Free parking is available in the National Geographic underground garage for programs that begin after 6 p.m.

Education, Special Events, The Features

September 2013 at National Geographic Live (including a drawing!)

Courtesy National Geographic

Courtesy National Geographic

We’re now in our fourth year partnering with the National Geographic Museum and their Nat Geo Live series of programming. They’ve kicked it up a notch this year to help celebrate the organization’s 125 years. The wide-ranging lineup over the next few months includes theatrical performances, explorer talks, holiday concerts, film screenings, new “Inside the Geographic” tours and even a Scottish whisky tasting. As the Society continues its celebration, Nat Geo Live’s offerings reflect the Society’s history of connecting audiences to people and places that inspire us to care about the planet.

“We’re excited to have such a stellar and diverse roster of talent joining us in Washington this fall,” said Gregory McGruder, vice president for Public Programs at National Geographic. “National Geographic Live is proud to continue its tradition of transporting Washingtonians on virtual adventures across the globe, via the powerful words, images and performances presented at these influential events at our headquarters.”

The Museum has graciously continued our monthly drawings for a two readers to win a pair of tickets each to a program of their choice. To enter, just comment below with what two programs you’d most like to see; make sure you use your first name and a valid email address. On Wednesday, September 4 we’ll randomly draw two names from the comment list.

Here is what’s being offered this month.

Bell ($30+)
Sept 12 – 21 (Thurs/Fri 7:30 pm; Sat 2 and 7:30 pm)
This one-man play, written by Jim Lehrer, directed by Jeremy Skidmore and starring Rick Foucheux, reveals the extraordinary life of Alexander Graham Bell. Best known for his invention of the telephone, the play shows many other facets of this daring, disorganized genius. He was a deeply committed family man, teacher of the deaf, holder of 47 patents and National Geographic’s second president.

Bird Walk Adventure: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens & National Arboretum ($150; Not Eligible for Drawing)
Sept 21, 9 am – 4 pm
Join National Geographic author, artist and resident bird expert Jonathan Alderfer on an urban birding adventure. After breakfast at the Society and a private viewing of the exhibition “A New Age of Exploration,” guests travel to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens by coach to observe waterfowl and migratory birds. After a picnic lunch at the National Arboretum, they return to National Geographic for a signed copy of Alderfer’s most recent book, National Geographic Pocket Guide to the Birds of North America.

Discovering the Photo Archives Tour ($100; Not Eligible for Drawing)
Sept 26, 7 pm.
When someone needs an archival photograph at National Geographic, Bill Bonner is the man to call. He manages the Image Collection photo archive of more than 10 million images, including silver gelatin prints, original paintings and priceless private collections. Join Bonner for a tour of the National Geographic archives and a private viewing of the exhibition “A New Age of Exploration.”

The Best Job in the World ($12)
Sept 30, 7:30 pm
See the world premiere of the National Geographic Channel special National Geographic Photographers: The Best Job in the World and get an insider look at photography at National Geographic through the eyes of photographer Cory Richards as he travels to a remote mountain range in Antarctica to cover a climbing expedition for National Geographic magazine. The film features interviews with several of the Society’s most celebrated photographers. The screening will be followed by a discussion with photographer Mark Thiessen and executive producer Pamela Wells.

The Lens of Adventure ($24)
Oct 2, 7:30 pm
Award-winning National Geographic Channel filmmaker Bryan Smith shares gripping moments from his assignments documenting extreme sports in the world’s most challenging environments. He has repeatedly tested the limits while producing films like “The Man Who Could Fly,” about free climber and BASE jumper Dean Potter, and “Alaska Wing Men,” following Alaskan bush pilots on critical missions.

All events take place in Grosvenor Auditorium at National Geographic’s Washington headquarters. Tickets may be purchased online, via telephone at (202) 857-7700 or in person at the National Geographic ticket office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets must be purchased by Sept. 20 to ensure guaranteed Early Bird Pricing. Free parking is available in the National Geographic underground garage for programs that begin after 6 p.m.

Downtown, Essential DC, History, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

Celebrating 125 Years of National Geographic

The National Geographic Society was founded 125 years ago. Its purpose? To expand and share geographic and scientific knowledge through the spirit of exploration. That mission continues to drive National Geographic amidst more than a century of technological and scientific innovations. And for the next year, visitors to the Society’s Museum here in DC can celebrate and enjoy the most iconic moments in the organization’s history.

The exhibition opens with a colorful celebration of the Society’s iconic magazine. The entry arch is constructed entirely of hundreds of past issues in a variety of languages, a fitting tribute to the simple golden square that symbolizes the publication. As visitors walk down a short hallway, they are greeted with a colorful display that shows off the cover of every issue of National Geographic, including placeholders for the future editions to be published during the exhibition’s year-long run.

After a short look at the Society’s founding members—using an interactive portrait—the exhibition opens up to encompass the three areas of the organization’s focus in exploration: land, sea, and sky. The galleries are covered in colorful images that highlight fascinating stories throughout the Society’s history. Science and exploration are the primary focus, including ancient civilizations and cultures, paleontology, wildlife, oceans, and the environment. Continue reading

Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

National Geographic Live – May/June 2013

NGS Picture ID:1034497

The first American team ascends Mount Everest in 1963. (Photo courtesy National Geographic)

National Geographic Live’s spring programming winds down in May with several great events. As usual, our friends at the National Geographic Museum are offering two pairs of tickets to our readers. To be considered for the random drawing, enter your name and which two events you’d most like to see in the comments area. On Tuesday, April 30 at noon we’ll draw two names and get you set up with one of your chosen events. (Note that there are two events listed below that are ineligible for the drawing; the evening with Buzz Aldrin and the Beer Tasting.)

For those unable to attend these great programs, you can now view them online a few days after the live event. All programs are at the Grosvenor Auditorium at the National Geographic Museum on 17 and M Street, NW; parking is free for program attendees after 6 pm.

Isabel Allende: A Portrait in Sepia ($22)
May 1, 7:30 pm
Spend an evening with one of the world’s greatest writers when Isabel Allende, author of The House of the Spirits and most recently Portrait in Sepia, comes to National Geographic. A Chilean author whose books established her as a feminist force in Latin America’s male-dominated literary world, Allende spins stories of family, politics, and human rights that transfix audiences. She’ll converse with National Geographic Traveler’s Don George, editor of the new travel anthology, Better Than Fiction: True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers, which features her work.

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Entertainment, History, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

The Real Pirates of National Geographic

There are pirates in Washington.

If you doubt, head over to the National Geographic Museum between now and September 2; the Jolly Roger flag hanging from the flagpole should convince you. If you need more persuasive evidence, head inside and wander through the museum’s latest exhibit Real Pirates.

From fore to aft, this exhibit rolls up the past, present, and future of the pirate vessel Whydah. Originally designed and used as a slave ship along the American-African slave routes, the Whydah was captured by pirate captain Sam Bellamy and used in his fleet to pillage more than fifty prizes across the Carribean. On a course for a New England harbor, the Whydah, her captain, and her crew ran into a violent nor’easter near Cape Cod and sank beneath the waves. With it went a hold full of pirate treasure and most of the men on board.

National Geographic chose to feature the Whydah exhibit for a number of reasons. According to Richard McWalters, Director of Museum Operations, the story of the Whydah crosses three seafaring trades: slavery, piracy, and recovery. Through the shipwreck’s history, visitors are exposed to the realities of the slave trade and its vessels, the life of a pirate crew during the eighteenth century, and the technology, dedication, and innovation of today’s salvage explorers. Continue reading

Downtown, Interviews, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

Behind the National Geographic Story (With Alice Gabriner)

Roman Frontiers

From “Roman Frontiers”; used with permission. The Porta Nigra, or “black gate,” still dominates Trier, Germany. A hundred feet tall, it was built in the second century as part of a wall system four miles long. Trier was a major city in the late Roman Empire, even serving as a regional capital under several emperors. “The light was so good from my hotel room that I put up a tripod and started taking pictures. The gate is surrounded by modern elements like power lines and a gas station, so I captured a variety of ways of looking at it. This was a way of combining both the old and the new.”
ROBERT CLARK – ROMAN FRONTIERS, SEPTEMBER 2012

Tonight, National Geographic is pulling back the curtain of sorts. One of the organization’s acclaimed draws is its fantastic use of photography to illustrate various articles and exhibits. Many photographers, from amateur to professional, dream of a day when they see one or more of their photos published in the iconic gold-bordered magazine.

National Geographic magazine Senior Photo Editor Alice Gabriner will share with a select crowd at the museum’s Grosvenor Auditorium her process. (The program is sold out for the evening.) Guests will discover firsthand the work that goes in to curating a National Geographic photo show through an insiders tour, as well as a private viewing of Beyond the Story: National Geographic Unpublished 2012, an upcoming photography exhibition featuring unpublished images by photographers on assignment for National Geographic magazine last year.

I had the opportunity to talk briefly with Gabriner before the program this evening. She graciously took a few moments to answer some questions and shared some photos from upcoming projects. Continue reading

Downtown, History, Interviews, People, Special Events, The Features

Crossing the Northwest Passage the Modern Way: Kite Skiing

Courtesy Sarah McNair-Landry and National Geographic

On December 6, an adventurous brother-sister team visits the National Geographic Museum to share about their experience kite skiing over two thousand miles through Canada’s arctic archipelago. Eric and Sarah McNair-Landry grew up with the Arctic Ocean and sled dogs in their backyard and have trekked across the polar regions since they were teenagers. Their journey saw them fend off polar bears and coping with extreme weather conditions along the way.

Their expedition traces the 1906 Roald Amundsen route through the Northwest Passage. That was the first time that it was actually successfully navigated by anyone following centuries of explorers hoping to discover a way through from the Atlantic to the Pacific north of Canada. The journey began in Tuktoyaktuk, located in Canada’s Northwest Territories and traveled east through Kugluktuk, Cambridge Bay, Gjoa Haven, Taloyoak, and Arctic Bay, before finally reaching the finish line at Pond Inlet on Baffin Island.

Sarah stopped by WeLoveDC to talk about their experience. Continue reading

Downtown, Entertainment, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

National Geographic Live: Nov/Dec 2012

Photo courtesy of Enzofloyd
Emperador courtesy of Enzofloyd

As the year winds down, so does the Fall National Geographic Live programming. This fall has been packed with great programs and showcases, with still more to come. Thanks to National Geographic once again for offering two pairs of tickets to our readers, providing access to any one of the great programs listed below. To enter, simply put what two programs you’d most like to see in the comment section; make sure you use a valid email address and use your first name. Entries will be taken through Friday noon and winners will be chosen at random and contacted Friday afternoon.

Unless otherwise indicated, all programs are at the Grosvenor Auditorium, located in the National Geographic Museum building at 1600 M Street NW. Parking is free after 6 pm for those attending evening programs.

GUERRILLA GEOGRAPHY ($25)
11/13; 7 pm

Think geography is just reading maps and memorizing names of places? Don’t tell that to Daniel Raven-Ellison. A self-described “guerrilla geographer” and Nat Geo Emerging Explorer, Raven-Ellison believes in encouraging people to experience the world around them in a more meaningful, surprising way, such as taking a photo every eight steps as they travel across the urban landscape. His Mission: Explore books challenge kids to take action to improve their worlds. Come along for the adventure, as this innovative, entertaining educator redefines what you think geography is—and shows how “guerrilla” artists, explorers, gardeners, and others use geography to find solutions. Reception follows. Continue reading

Downtown, Entertainment, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

NatGeo Live: October 2012 Programs

Photo courtesy of quinn.anya
Lost in the music
courtesy of quinn.anya

It’s fall in DC and another month of great National Geographic Live programming. If you’re looking for something to do in the evenings, we highly suggest you check out some of this month’s offerings. And to provide further incentive, we are providing two lucky readers with a pair of tickets to an event of their choice this coming month!

To enter the drawing, simply comment below using your first name and a legit email address, listing the two events from the following program list you’d like to attend. (Note that there is one event not eligible and we’ve noted it for you.) Sometime after noon on Tuesday (October 9) we’ll randomly select two winners to receive a pair of tickets (each) to one of their selections. You’ve got until noon on Tuesday to enter!

(For ticket information, visit online or call the box office at (800) 647-5463.) Continue reading

Entertainment, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

2012 All Roads Film Festival (with Ticket Drawing!)

Photo courtesy of Mr. T in DC
National Archives Film Canisters
courtesy of Mr. T in DC
The National Geographic All Roads Film Project presents the 8th annual All Roads Film Festival, featuring stories and talent from vibrant and diverse cultures. Meet the filmmakers at panel discussions, dance to live music Friday night, and enjoy a free photography exhibition in the National Geographic courtyard. The festival runs Thursday, September 27 through Sunday, September 30. All screenings will take place in Grosvenor Auditorium at National Geographic Society headquarters, 1600 M Street NW, unless otherwise noted. Tickets are $10 per film or you can purchase a festival pass for $100.

National Geographic is graciously offering our readers a chance to attend a screening of their choice. Simply put in the comments what two films interest you and we’ll draw a few winners (a pair of tickets for each winner) on Tuesday morning.

The schedule after the jump. Continue reading

Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

September 2012 at National Geographic Live

Photo courtesy of Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie
Dabney #1
courtesy of Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie

It’s Fall and that means another round of terrific programming at the National Geographic Museum. Their NatGeo Live programs are a must-attend for everyone in DC; every season, there is a wide range of programs, film festivals, celebrations, and other events to fit everyone’s taste.

Once again, the great folks at National Geographic are presenting WeLoveDC readers with an opportunity to win a pair of tickets to a listed event. Simply enter in the comments field what two events excite you most that you’d love to see, make sure you use a valid email, and list your first name so we can easily contact you. Readers have until noon Thursday, September 13 to place an entry (one per person, please!) and that afternoon we’ll randomly select two winners of a pair of tickets each. (Note that not all programs are eligible for tickets.)

The programs listed range from Friday, 9/14 through Friday, 10/5.

1001 INVENTIONS: THE ENDURING LEGACY OF MUSLIM CIVILIZATION ($20 event+exhibit)
Friday, 9/14
7:30 pm

What do coffee beans, torpedoes, arches, and observatories all have in common? Where did da Vinci and Fibonacci get their ideas about flight and numbers? The Nat Geo Museum exhibition “1001 Inventions,” and companion book edited by historian Professor Salim T.S. Al-Hassani, overflows with glorious revelations from the Muslim Civilization. During Europe’s Dark Ages, this society flourished with far-reaching scientific and cultural discoveries.

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Downtown, People, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

Desert Air Opens Tomorrow at NatGeo

“Crossing Arabia’s Empty Quarter” by George Steinmetz; photo courtesy National Geographic

An exhibition featuring images of the world’s deserts by award-winning National Geographic photographer George Steinmetz will be on display at the National Geographic Museum from Aug. 30, 2012, to Jan. 27, 2013.

The free exhibition, “Desert Air: Photographs by George Steinmetz,” includes breathtaking photographs of sand dunes, human habitation, wildlife and vast expanses of the world’s last great wildernesses. The photos will be displayed in the museum’s M Street gallery. An audio component will feature Steinmetz telling the stories behind selected images. Continue reading

Cherry Blossom Festival, Entertainment, Special Events, The Daily Feed, We Love Arts

This Saturday: Samurai Cinema Triple Feature!

Photo courtesy National Geographic

Want something a little different to make this year’s cherry blossom visit truly magnificent? How about a great samurai triple feature?  The National Geographic Museum will be presenting three classics of Japanese cinema, all featuring the iconic Toshiro Mifune and presented in stunning 35mm! Presented in conjunction with the National Geographic Museum exhibition Samurai: The Warrior Transformed, the films will be introduced by Michael Jeck, veteran film programmer notable for commentary on Criterion DVD releases of Seven Samurai and Throne of Blood.

Admission to each film is $5, though you can see them for free with paid admission to the new samurai exhibit. (The offer is valid only for exhibit tickets purchased for Saturday, 3/31; there are a limited number of tickets available.) Warning—these films all have some pretty violent content. Film details after the jump. Continue reading

Downtown, Entertainment, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

National Geographic Live: April 2012

Photo courtesy National Geographic

April looms large in front of us and so does a beautiful spring. While tourists flood the Tidal Basin, why not check out the April programming for National Geographic Live? The National Geographic Museum is offering WeLoveDC readers a chance to enjoy one of their premier events in the coming month. We’re giving away two pairs of tickets to readers this Friday; look through the great programs listed below and pick two you’d like to attend. In the comment field, simply enter your choices. (Make sure you use your first name and a valid email address!) Winners for April will be chosen at random after noon on March 30.

All programs (unless otherwise noted) take place in Grosvenor Auditorium at 1600 M Street, NW. Tickets may be purchased online at www.nglive.org, via telephone at (202) 857-7700, or in person at the National Geographic ticket office between 9 am and 5 pm. Free parking is available in the National Geographic underground garage for all weekday programs that begin after 6 pm. Continue reading

Adventures, Downtown, Entertainment, Interviews, Special Events, We Love Arts

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner: Scaling the World

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner; Photo courtesy National Geographic

Tonight, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner takes the stage at the National Geographic Museum. A prolific mountaineer, Ms. Kaltenbrunner is best known for being the first woman to summit all 14 8,000 meter peaks without supplemental oxygen or porters. She was nominated as one of NatGeo’s Adventurers of the Year for 2012.

She’ll be talking tonight about her daring climb of K2 in August 2011. Ms. Kaltenbrunner took a moment to answer a few questions for WeLoveDC before tonight’s event. Continue reading

Downtown, Special Events, The District, We Love Arts

National Geographic Live: November 2011

Photo courtesy National Geographic

For November, the folks at the National Geographic Museum have put together some great programs before the holidays, including photographers, authors, and speakers. If you’d like to win a pair of tickets to an November program, simply list the two events you’d like to attend in comments before 2pm Friday, October 28. Make sure you use a legitimate email address and your first name. We’ll contact two winners (as determined by random.org) Friday afternoon.

If you’re interested in attending one of these events, visit NatGeo’s website or their box office (800-647-5463), located at 17th and M Street, NW. Keep in mind that parking in NatGeo’s underground lot is free for any programs beginning after 6 pm.

Lost Gold of the Dark Ages: The Mystery of the Saxon Hoard ($20)
Nov 1, 7:30 pm

In July 2009, amateur treasure hunters searching with metal detectors on a Staffordshire farm made an amazing discovery: hundreds of precious gold and silver objects from the seventh century. The trove of treasures and battlefield items remains England’s most important Anglo-Saxon archaeological find—a time capsule revealing new stories from when Germanic invaders were laying modern England’s ethnic foundations. Join us for a screening of the New National Geographic Channel film Secrets of the Lost Gold, followed by a panel discussion including Caroline Alexander, author of the new Nat Geo book and magazine article about the discovery, David Symons from the Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, and Deb Klemperer from the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery.

Continue reading

Interviews, People, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

Juliet and the Demon Fish

Photo courtesy Juliet Eilperin and National Geographic

A first glance at the title “Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks” would probably invoke visions of bloody feeding frenzies, mouths full of razor-sharp teeth, and the sleek arrow-shaped bodies of deadly sharks. With, of course, the appropriate Jaws theme rolling around in our heads. And we couldn’t be more wrong with that impression.

Juliet Eilperin, a national environmental reporter for The Washington Post, has the spotlight this evening at the National Geographic Museum. And what she’ll be sharing with tonight’s audience will be somewhat removed from that first glimpse of her book. Despite its fearsome title, her work is more of a revelation of this sleek, deadly species that cruise the ocean’s depths (and shallows). Let’s face it: sharks have held a solid spot of fascination in our collective conscious, often as one of fear or as an image of ‘terrible beauty.’ Eilperin shines another light on sharks, however – conservation. Demon Fish strives to expose the intricacies and personalities of the shark-human relationship and reveals it’s not all about blood, teeth, and gore.

The idea bloomed after Eilperin began looking for something to write about. The oceans have had a long pull on Eilperin; they’re a subject she can fill conversations about, and for good reason. “It’s still unknown territory to humans, to a large extent, so that’s what intrigues me,” she confided. “So much of our world has been explored and documented, but when it comes to the sea, we’re still in a period of intense discovery. Also, it’s just so different from the environment in which we operate on a daily basis.” Casting about for the right angle, a colleague suggested the shark and it intrigued her enough to explore further. Continue reading